Determined not to miss out on investment opportunities presented by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), healthcare companies are implementing Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems at a brisk pace. A new survey conducted by San Francisco-based Embarcadero Technologies shows EHR implementations are the top priority among the 111 healthcare IT professionals surveyed, with 85 percent indicating that they are either in the midst of an EHR project or plan to start one within the next 18 months.
It seems those in the healthcare field have taken time to brush up on meaningful use and understand the EHR certification process. When asked about their level of understanding, 74 percent said the existing information on MU and certification was adequate and their technical implementation questions have been answered. Two thirds agreed that their IT staff was ready to implement EHR systems that would comply with meaningful use and the same number (66 percent) also said they are planning to use database management tools to better understand the data and applications to implement EHRs and MU.
When respondents were asked to identify their top three healthcare IT priorities, data management projects reigned supreme. EHR implementation received 61 percent of the mentions for first place, healthcare data warehouses came in second with 52 percent, followed by health information exchanges with 47 percent.